Merit or family background? Problems in research policy initiatives in Japan

Gerald K. LeTendre, Thomas P. Rohlen, Kangmin Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In reviewing educational trends in Japan during the post-World War II era, the authors found that current national data sets do not contain questions about family background or rank of school attended that are detailed enough to permit a significant analysis of the impact of family background on educational attainment. Given Japan's stature in the current community of nations, the continued government aversion to collecting family income or educational background data, along with precise data on rank of school attended and/or types of cram school, appears negligent. The authors discuss both cultural and political reasons that may create a reluctance to collect such data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-297
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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